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In compiling the Dividend Champions list (found here), I get to see which companies are nearing the anniversaries of their previous dividend increases. Since most of these firms raise their payout about the same time every year, I can say with some confidence that they are likely to do so again.

Format Modified

With this article in the new twice-monthly format, I'm extending the forward look to a period of more than nine weeks. The previous article, which appeared on May 11th (it can be found here), extended the forward look from eight weeks to 60 days. But there were still some companies – such as Clorox (NYSE:CLX) - that announced increases more than two months before the next Ex-Dividend Date, so I'm extending the “forward look” again and, if necessary, could aim for ten weeks.

Of the 31 companies listed in the previous article, 16 announced increases, including two – W.R. Berkley (NYSE:WRB) and Flowers Foods (NYSE:FLO) – that graduated to Contender status with their 10th straight year of higher dividends. Based on last year's announcements, I'm expecting the following companies to announce dividend increases between now and the anniversary of their previous increase:

Dividend Champions (25 or more years):

No.

4/29

Qtrly

LY%

LY

Company

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Rate

Inc.

Ex-Div

National Fuel Gas

NFG

40

73.30

1.88

0.3450

2.99

6/28/10

Medtronic Inc.

MDT

33

41.75

2.16

0.2250

9.76

7/7/10

Lowe's Companies

LOW

48

26.25

1.68

0.1100

22.22

7/19/10

C.R. Bard Inc.

BCR

39

106.75

0.67

0.1800

5.88

7/22/10

Dividend Contenders (10-24 years):

No.

4/29

Qtrly

LY%

LY

Company

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Rate

Inc.

Ex-Div

Community Bank Sys.

CBU

17

25.02

3.84

0.2400

9.09

6/11/10

Universal Health Realty

UHT

22

43.11

5.61

0.6050

0.83

6/14/10

John Wiley & Sons Inc.

JW.A

17

50.93

1.26

0.1600

14.29

7/2/10

Caterpillar Inc.

CAT

17

115.41

1.52

0.4400

4.76

7/16/10

National Retail Prop.

NNN

21

26.34

5.77

0.3800

1.33

7/28/10

A.O. Smith Corp.

AOS

17

43.97

1.27

0.1400

7.69

7/28/10

AptarGroup Inc.

ATR

17

52.45

1.37

0.1800

20.00

7/28/10

CARBO Ceramics

CRR

10

160.94

0.50

0.2000

11.11

7/30/10

Dividend Challengers (5-9 years):

No.

4/29

Qtrly

LY%

LY

Company

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Rate

Inc.

Ex-Div

Daktronics Inc.

DAKT

6

10.72

0.93

0.1000

5.26

6/10/10

FedEx Corp.

FDX

9

95.67

0.50

0.1200

9.09

6/15/10

Greif Inc. A

GEF

7

62.10

2.71

0.4200

10.53

6/16/10

Communications Sys.

JCS

8

15.82

3.79

0.1500

7.14

6/17/10

H.J.Heinz Co.

HNZ

6

51.23

3.51

0.4500

7.14

6/22/10

Darden Restaurants

DRI

6

46.97

2.73

0.3200

28.00

7/7/10

General Mills

GIS

7

38.58

2.90

0.2800

14.29

7/8/10

MSC Industrial Direct

MSM

8

71.59

1.23

0.2200

10.00

7/9/10

There may be other companies that announce increases in the coming weeks, such as those that increase the payout on a quarterly or irregular basis. (Companies generally make dividend declarations anywhere from two days to six weeks before the Ex-Dividend Date.) Not all of these companies will meet the strict standards of every investor, but they may be appropriate for portfolio diversification. Potential investors should do more research before committing funds.

Coming Up

This article is part of my regular schedule of submissions; the following are expected in the next month or so:

Dividend Champions Update: May 31. The spreadsheet and PDF will be updated after the market close and posted in their usual location (see first line of this article).

Dividend Champions: Smackdown XIV: June 1

Companies Expected to Increase Dividends: June 10

Overdue Dividend Increases: June 13. Date is aimed at preceding David Van Knapp's “Dividends in Danger?” series by a couple of days. Two companies from my May 11 article will be added to the “overdue” list since they declared the same payout for a fifth straight quarter.

I may also submit one or two other articles during the month, depending on reader interest. Please feel free to list questions or suggestions in the Comment section below.

Source: 20 Companies Expected to Hike Dividends in the Next 2 Months